Devaluing Personal Injury Claims

By Michael P. Ehline, Esq.

Justice for neurological damages
Head injury lawyer

When an incident occurs causing a personal injury will face dealing with the insurance company and their adjustor, if they want to recover damages. The insurance company adjustor has tactics they will use to devalue the claim filed by the victim. These strategies they use to lessen the amount of the claim or in order to deny it completely will bring down the worth of the claim. Going into this process without the assistance of a personal injury attorney can make it nearly impossible to obtain a fair settlement (Learn more here.) This is a legal professional who has experience in dealing with insurance companies and the tactics the adjustor will use to diminish the claim.

The tactics that the insurance adjustor may use are commonly used by all insurance companies when a claim for damages is filed against one of their policy holders and when they are used it will require the person who has been hurt to fight to protect their right to receive a fair settlement. These common practices include:

Claim Value Intimidation

One of the tactics that will be used by the adjustor is to intimidate the person who files the claim by mentioning the insurance company attorneys and the value they feel the claim is worth. They may also attempt to place some of the fault on the victim for the incident, which in effect would lower the amount of the settlement in percentages of fault. The individual who has filed the claim should be aware that the attorneys working for the insurance company are not objective. They are employed to protect the interests, which includes deflecting the cost of claims against the company. The one way to ensure knowing what a claim is worth is to have legal representation. The lawyer will be fighting to protect your rights to fair compensation and negotiate with the insurance company, leaving the victim to worry about healing and not the tactics used by insurance adjustors.

Personal Information

There are some adjustors that will go to the extent of collecting personal information about the claimant, which includes their personal life. Then the adjustor will go over the information they have gathered with the person who filed the claim and explain how it will become public knowledge if the settlement they are offering is not agreed too. This information they will explain would be brought into court, if the claim is filed as a lawsuit and heard in civil court. This could be a past criminal charge or driving issue the adjustor has found and the person seeking damages does not want brought out. The adjustor actually knows that they cannot use this information, but also know that the claimant does not know that unless they have legal representation. This is a scare tactic that a personal injury attorney can dispel by explaining what information in an insurance claim is relevant and what information in improper to use in determining a settlement.

Insurance Experts

Insurance adjustors often use letters from attorneys and other experts in order to slow a settlement or make the value of the claim less. When an expert is hired by the insurance company it is to look out for the company’s best interest, not to be objective in their observations. The attorney representing the victim knows that this is a tactic by the adjustor and the experts purpose is to protect the insurance company, rather than looking at both sides of the evidence.

This makes it nearly impossible to settle a claim, settle it for a fair amount or know what the value of the settlement actually should have been. When the claimant has an attorney to field these strategies put forth by the insurance company to discourage the claimant, it will not rise to this level because the attorney has experience with these tactics and can head them off or the adjustor will not even attempt to use them. This will help to ensure there is a fair settlement, rather than the insurance company getting away with a less than satisfactory settlement or denying a claim.

Claimant Expenses

One other tactic that the insurance adjustor may use is to discourage the claimant by the adjustor explaining how travel costs to the jurisdiction of the accident will be a large expense. The claimant may need to miss work and other costs may be involved. This is all done in an effort to convince the claimant to settle for a lower amount than they deserve. The fact is that it is not always required for the claimant to travel and if they are represented by an attorney, they will explain to the individual when their presence is really necessary or if they will need to go to this jurisdiction at all in order to recover a settlement.



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